No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. (1 Corinthians 10:20, NASB)

Imagine A Perfect World Where Love Of Self Is God

The “about” section of his blog Samir Selmanovic informs us:

Samir Selmanovic, PhD, grew up in an intellectual urban atheist milieu in the capital of Croatia in a European Muslim family. In his youth, he was immersed in existentialist literature… Since 2005, Samir serves on the Coordinating Group for Emergent Village and has been appointed as their representative on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches in 2006.

For the last four years, Samir has been a teaching pastor at CrossWalk, an innovative and growing church in Southern California.

Samir has helped many of his church members and students move from apathy and doubt about the integrity and relevance of their religion into a path of contemplation and pursuit of social justice. He has also guided a number of secular people into taking another look at faith to the point where they have gained a new interest in spirituality and a new hope for religion in the West. (Online source)

Selmanovic is also the catalyst behind Faith House Project whose mission it is to “start a new kind of community in which we can discover The Other (individuals or groups other than those we belong to), deepen our personal and corporate journeys, and together participate in repairing the world.”

Among those who endorse this Faith House rooted in an emerging church postliberal counterfeit Christianity—but, of course—we find Emergent Guru Brian McLaren who says:

Many of us feel that unless we can see vibrant new faith communities engaging with the urban culture of New York City, we are not ready to grapple with tomorrow’s realities. The old line from the song — “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere” — rings true in ministry. The problem is that relatively few people have the skills and ethos to survive, much less thrive and effectively minister, in the Big Apple. And even fewer have the desire!

My friend Samir has all of the above. If I weren’t otherwise occupied, I’d strongly consider moving to the City and working alongside him. He’s a powerful communicator, a strong leader, cross-culturally fluent, amazingly bright, widely experienced, theologically alive, and gifted to develop faith communities that bring together diverse people in the pursuit of mutual understanding, peace, and the making of a better world. I hope that many people will join me in trying to encourage and support him in a new and innovative venture in this important city at this critical time.

~ Brian McLaren, author (Online source)

And Emergent Evangelical Prophet Tony Campolo—another of McLaren’s friends—also chimes in:

Samir Selmanovic is just what we have needed to bring the spirit of Christ to bear in a fractured society. His attempts to create dialogue between peoples of different religious traditions is essential in a pluralistic society and is desperately needed in a world in which religion has become an instrument of war instead of actualizing its intended goal of being an instrument of peace. Here is a young man with vision and with the kind of drive and commitment that will enable his dreams to be actualized. He is bright and articulate and I am sure that he will be used of God in this project, living out the biblically-prescribed ministry of reconciliation.

~ Tony Campolo, author (Online source)

Now some of you may recall a John Lennon song called Imagine, which in part carried this corrupt humanist dream:

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

Well, under “What Is Faith House” we’re told of its own Lennonesque imagination:

It is a dream now becoming a reality; a path to a better faith; a journey that goes through our beginnings before any religion was around, when we were all one, all human, all broken and blessed at same time.

At the start of this journey, we all have more questions than answers. That’s why God gave us the ability to dream.


Humanist and Atheists
All wrestling with God and life together


One humanity
One pulpit
A rich diversity of voices
All learning from one another and cherishing the traditions of one another


A synagogue
A church
A mosque
Sharing lives in one community


A place of friendship and joy
An agency for social justice
A voice for peace
A place to express both grief and forgiveness
A school of love

Faith House will seek to bring progressive Jews, Christians, Muslims, and spiritual seekers of no faith to become an interfaith community for the good of the world. We have one world and one God. Nothing is impossible. Who can stop God from teaching us how to live together in community? (Online source)

Really nice dream, but it has nothing to do with the actual Gospel message of Jesus Christ. And watch out for that word “progressive” as it refers to the left-leaning liberals of a particular faith. We’ll return more specifically to Selmanovic, but first, in the Apprising Ministries post The Emerging Church Hoping for A Generous Orthodoxy While Seeking to Discover God In “The Other” Religions I reference a recent story in Christian Post called “World’s Largest Inter-Religious Gathering to Descend Upon Australia”.

In that CP article we read:

The Parliament event is a place where people come together to encounter “the other,” organizers state in the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR) website. “This encounter can lead to a deepening of one’s own sense of religious and spiritual identity and an appreciation for the challenges or difference within one’s own tradition, as well as between and among traditions.
(Online source, emphasis mine)

The Emerging Friendship With The World Through Embracing “The Other”

You should know that this idea of encountering “the other” within other “faith traditions” is extremely significant to the emerging church as we watch the already inclusive cult of postliberal theology—the Emergent Church—drift even toward a new form of reimagined universalism. Consider that Doug Pagitt is the man Leadership Network approached to assemble the Terranova Project which spawned the emerging church movement circa 1997.

Dr. John MacArthur has rightly pointed out something of vital importance concerning the theology—such as it is—of Pagitt:

[Doug] Pagitt is a Universalist. What he was saying is real simple. He was saying when you die your spirit goes to God and judgment means that whatever was not right about you, whatever was bad about you, whatever was substantially lacking about you, gets all resolved. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Buddhist, a Hindu or a Muslim—doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian really; we’re all going to end up in this wonderful, warm and fuzzy relationship with God. That’s just classic universalism. (Online source)

In his debate with pastor Bob DeWaay a couple of years ago Pagitt explains what the Emergent Church is talking about concerning their idea of experiencing and embracing “the other”:

We’re [the Emerging Church] not trying to slide anything by someone; we’re tyring to work very deeply, and connected to the story of God, and with God, in this world to try to express “what are the hopes and dreams of God for our world.”

Eightly—there’s an openness to the “other” [point 8 on his Powerpoint display]. To the other thinker, to the foreigner, to the outsider; it’s this call to love, not only God and neighbor—but to love enemy and to not be “freaked out,” and not to be so concerned about when “the other” is in our midst.

And I think that’s about the very understanding about the character of God; the acceptance of “the other,” and these [Emergent] communities tend to look [at it] this way. (Disc 1, Ch. 6, 15:13-15:51)

It’s not the point of this article to provide an apologetic concerning this above distortion of the genuine Christian faith. Here our point is to show you below, from Dr. Samir Selmanovic, that we are not talking of simply learning about another religion from someone who practices it, instead we are also emerging into a counterfeit Christianity where people of other religions are also thought to be in a saving relationship with God.

Selmanovic happens to have contributed a chapter called “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness: Finding Our God in the Other” in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, a fairly recent book edited by Emergent Church anti-theologian Tony Jones and his pastor Doug Pagitt. By doing so Selmanovic gives further indication where we are headed with this inclusivism, and repainted universalism when he tells us:

We have experienced great joy in God’s embrace of humanity through Jesus Christ…but Christianity’s idea that other religions cannot be God’s carriers of grace and truth casts a large shadow over our Christian experience. Does grace, the central teaching of Christianity, permeate all of reality, or is it something that is alive only for those who possess the New Testament and the Christian tradition? Is the revelation that we have received through Jesus Christ an expression of what is everywhere at all times, or has the Christ Event emptied most of the world and time of saving grace and deposited it in one religion, namely ours…

Can it be that the teachings of the gospel are embedded and can be found in reality itself rather than being exclusively isolated in sacred texts and our interpretations of those texts? If the answer is yes, can it be that they are embedded in other stories, other peoples’ histories, and even other religions

God’s table is welcoming all who seek, and if any religion is to win, may it be the one that produces people who are the most loving, the most humble, the most Christlike. Whatever the meaning of “salvation” and “judgment,” we Christians are going to be saved by grace, like everyone else, and judged by our works, like everyone else…

For most critics of such open Christianity, the problem with inclusiveness is that it allows for truth to be found in other religions. To emerging Christians, that problem is sweet… Moreover, if non-Christians can know our God, then we want to benefit from their contribution to our faith. (191, 192, 195,196)

Missing The Point Of Being A Christian

Another time we’ll look again into the postliberal message of Samir Selmanovic of the Emerging Church, with their reimagined Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man and the emerging Global Family of Antichrist. That the Emergent Church and their representative Samir Selmanovic have introduced a new form of liberal theology—a postliberalism—into evangelicalism is also underscored by the aforementioned Bob DeWaay in the following from his very insightful article “Emergent Old Fashioned Liberalism”:

One of the most egregious examples of theological liberalism found in the book is in an essay entitled “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness—Finding our God in the Other” by Samir Selmanovic. His inclusive view was made famous by Roman Catholic theologian Karl Rahner. It is called “anonymous Christianity” and is footnoted by Selmanovic. To illustrate his belief, Selmanovic tells of a tribal chief, Chomina, who refused to convert to Christianity as he was dying because he thought doing so would separate him from his people. Here is how this decision was interpreted by Selmanovic: “Moved by the Holy Spirit, people like Chomina reject the idea of allegiance to the name of Christ and, instead, want to be like him and thus accept him at a deeper level.”

He claims, “But Christianity’s idea that other religions cannot be God’s carriers of grace and truth casts a large shadow over our Christian experience.” The Holy Spirit, according to the Bible, testifies of Christ (John 15:26). The Spirit doesn’t lead people to reject the person and work of Christ as defined in the Bible so that people can somehow ontologically meet “Christ” through other religions, as the inclusivists like Rahner and Selmanovic claim. States Selmanovic, “The godliness of non-Christians is not an anomaly in our theology.” Our response to all this is simple: The Bible warns about those having a form of godliness but deny its power (2Timothy 3:5). (Online source)

And in closing this for now I draw your attention to an article by Amy Hall called “What’s the Point of Being a Christian?”, which appeared at the hardly controversial Stand to Reason blog. Hall tells us she’s also been reading “‘The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness’ in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope where the author, Samir Selmanovic, expresses his disapproval of the exclusive claims Christians make about Jesus.”

If you, your church, and/or it youth group is embracing this counterfeit Christianity through the postliberal theology of Selmanovic and the Emergent Church then I encourage you to pay very close attention to what follows. The reason being, Hall brings out a couple of key points which you will be wise to seriously contemplate as she correctly shows you the reimagined universalism of the original Cult of Liberal Theology, the serpentine parents of these Emerging Church vipers:

For Selmanovic, religions other than Christianity can be “carriers of grace.” This is because forgiveness and loving actions toward others are most important to him; these things are bigger than our understanding of the person of Christ, and they aren’t necessarily tied to knowledge of Christ. It’s His instructions about living in the Kingdom, not Jesus Himself, that really matter, and goodness can be discovered by people outside Christianity. Exclusive truth claims, therefore, make no sense to Selmanovic…

For Selmanovic, the goal of religion is to be “Christlike” (loving people well just as Christ loved us), and those who do so at the expense of the name of Jesus are more closely following in His footsteps than those who find themselves separated from others for the sake of His name. But is it more Christlike to reject Christ’s name in order to “love” people? Or should Christ Himself be the purpose of all that we do? We are to rather die than live without our beloved, yes. But our beloved is to be Christ above all else. There is no deeper level than this. As Jesus said:

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26) 

Selmanovic has embraced the behavioral teachings of Christ, but he has missed the whole point of being a Christian. (Online source)

But men and women, missing “the whole point of being a Christian” is an eternal death sentence—forever shut out from the presence of God in a literal place Jesus called Hell—to all those who are never shown the red letters which tell us:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son.”

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:16-20)

According to Jesus, Who spoke those words above, how many sons does God have? Answer: One. And only those who are born again, through God’s grace alone; by faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, believe in His Name according to Scripture. The absolute—and knowable with complete certainty—Truth is that prior to regeneration by God the Holy Spirit there is no universal Fatherhood of God. For the Bible clearly says — Yet to all who received Him [Jesus the Christ of Nazareth], to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right [Greek: exousia, means power, as in authority] to become children of God.

And simple logic will tell you that if you need the right, power and/or authority to become something; then, you were not that something before. So I say; today, why not turn your back on foolish Emergent dreamers like Rob Bell and Samir Selmanovic and believe the Good News…before it’s too late…

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